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How to ship PC & laptops overseas

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Shipping desktop computers and laptops internationally requires a systematic process so you can ensure a smooth customs clearance, timely and safe deliveries. From ensuring you’ve calculated your taxes accurately to having your computer parts like monitors, wires and CPU protectively packed, there’s plenty to pay attention to. We dive into all that you need to know here when shipping such electronics overseas.  

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How to get started 

Before you start mapping out your export schedules and processes to send your computers and laptops overseas, you will have to first declare your goods to Singapore Customs. Here is a list of steps to help make your international shipment of these electronics hassle-free.

1. Register for a customs account

Whenever you are planning to send laptops and widescreen computer monitors overseas, you will need to register for an account with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). In addition, you will have to activate a customs account. This can be done by having a valid Unique Entity Number (UEN) issued to you. In doing so, your business will be registered in Singapore and you are now able to acquire the required exporting and shipment permits and certificates that are necessary for the shipping of your goods internationally.

2. Determine if your goods are controlled or restricted

All goods are subjected to control by the relevant authorities here in Singapore. As such, ensure that you have prepared your permits well beforehand. It is also prudent that you verify the status of your goods to determine if they are strategic, controlled or prohibited items before you send them overseas.

When shipping electronics overseas, you can identify which category of your goods your electronics products fall under by using a Harmonised System (HS) to search the description of your goods. For goods that fall under the controlled items list, you may also check with the relevant authorities on the licensing requirements. However, should you be unable to find the HS code for your product, you may pay a S$75 fee to submit an application form and receive an official classification ruling for your goods.

For computers and laptops, you’d want to pay attention to the different parts you will be shipping as they come with their unique HS Code. For instance, the HS code for computer keyboards is 84716030 while other internal and external PC units like mouse and graphic cards will be recorded under 84716090. Unrecorded hard disks used for computers will be characterised as  85232971.

3. Prepare trade documents

Next, you’d need to prepare the necessary documents and licences. The types of export permits required by the relevant authorities are dependent on the declaration category. After identifying your declaration category, you may apply for a customs permit directly through TradeNet or any of its approved solution providers.

Apart from declaring the permits for yourself, you may also appoint a declaring agent to obtain the permits on your behalf. By simply registering their name as your declaring agent through the TradeNet user ID, your declaring agent will be granted permission to receive the permits on your behalf. 

Most desktop computers, laptops and their parts being shipped overseas fall under the purview of the National Environment Agency in Singapore.

4. Learn about taxes and duties

Exported goods are not subject to Singapore’s Goods and Services Tax (GST) and duty. Nonetheless, since your goods are considered Free on Board (FOB), you will still be required to declare the value of your goods during the application of your export permit/s

In addition, you will also need to provide a commercial invoice to your overseas buyer. For this, you may also appoint a third party who may be helping you send your PC and laptops to your overseas buyers. The following may happen if the third party is:

  1. Declaring themselves as an exporter on your behalf to issue the invoice to your customer. 

  2. Acting as a consolidator if you do not have a UEN.

Prepare your packaging

Once you have secured your relevant permits and documents, you are ready to ship your goods to your international buyers. However, to ensure that your goods travel safely, the packaging of your electronics will be crucial as well. Considering the fact that PCs, laptops, macbooks, and computer monitors are expensively assembled and fragile, you’ll want to have extra and secured protection such as extra packing foam lining the interior of your electronics products’ boxes before shipping them out.

For starters, consider having a separate packaging box for different components of the computer. For example, the charger, adaptor, and cables can be packed and placed in one box, while the laptop/macbook and mouse can be placed in another box. By segregating your packaging, not only will it be easier for you to identify the location of each part, you will also be able to ensure that all your electronics products’ components are accounted for and are safely and securely sent to your overseas buyers.

You can further cushion your computer parts by preparing additional protective layers. You can do this by adding extra packing foam, air pillows, or bubble wrap to surround the packaging boxes. Also, to protect the edges of your packaging boxes, you may also seal the edges with extra tape or place bumpers as a form of extra protection. For the main packaging box, select a sturdier material (e.g., corrugated cardboard).

Ship computers and laptops internationally with a reliable logistics provider

With your exportation documents all sorted, and your products’ packaging well taken care of, you are ready to send your desktop computers and laptops overseas, however, it is also vital that you engage the services of a reliable logistics provider. With DHL Express, our certified international specialists will ensure that your international shipment of electronics products is a smooth process - from the collection of your goods to the tracking of your shipment’s progress and the notification of its arrival to the intended destination, we’ve got you covered every step of the way. 

With flexibility in terms of shipping services as well as delivery options that are best tailored to your needs and requirements, DHL Express delivers. Open a business account with us today.